To me, its a Hallmark holiday.
LOVE is NOT:
Getting a card. Getting flowers or candy. Or even a nice piece of jewelry. Although those things are nice; they are not love. They might be expressions of love. But they are not the things that tell me my husband loves me.
Valentines Day is called a "romantic holiday". Maybe it is, but it certainly is not the end all-be all version of how to love someone.
This day brings pain to so many people; for so many different reasons.
For a gal, if you aren't dating someone at this time, the media makes you feel forgotten and un-loved and this SHOULD NOT BE.
What if someone you loved so deeply is no longer alive? Today brings up such sadness as you are again reminded of the loss you grieve. For a spouse, or a mother or father or sister or brother, or a dear friend, this day can be awful.
And the person who has endured the break up of a relationship, whether it be a dating one or a marriage, this day brings the feelings of loneliness and rejection.
The many elderly who are in nursing homes are so forgotten today. Today can be a day like most any other where they are alone, without any visitors, feeling forgotten and unloved.
The single moms: they are doing their very best to stay afloat. Some can't even afford to buy the valentines needed for their child's class party. They work hard and are so often under appreciated for their many sacrifices.
The homeless-they are often so shunned. Instead of receiving love, they often are shamed by how we think of them. I wonder if they if know that today is "Valentines Day"?
REAL LOVE to me is described in the Bible (the book that is one LOVE story of how much God loves us) in 1 Corinthians 13 as:
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
PATIENT-enduring support through the hard times. Giving grace often.
KIND- doing random acts to show your love. Doing the dishes when your spouse is tired. Giving unconditional love when it is undeserved.
NOT JEALOUS- rejoices in your loved one's successes. Encourages them on to be the best version of themselves.
Or PROUD- thinks more about the other person than oneself.
Or BOASTFUL- doesn't brag unnecessarily. Realizes that love is a give and take and our job is to encourage our loved one.
Love is NOT RUDE- it is being polite and courteous and extends grace instead of criticism.
Real love DOES NOT DEMAND ITS OWN WAY. Wants what is best for the one you love. Compromises. knows you aren't "always right".
It is not IRRITABLE- does not use being tired as an excuse for what you do or say. Tries to understand what the other person is going thru. Goes the extra step in being nice.
Real love keeps NO RECORD OF WRONGS- forgets the past mistakes and doesn't keep bringing them up. Gives each day a new opportunity to keep loving.
Real love does NOT REJOICE ABOUT INJUSTICE BUT REJOICES WHENEVER THE TRUTH WINS OUT. Love looks out for the injustices in our homes, our neighborhoods, and far away places. We are all neighbors in this universe and we need to care about others.
LOVE NEVER GIVES UP-even when we want to. Even when we have been ridiculed and feel like nothing is going to work out. Real love endures-especially in the most difficult times.
Real love NEVER LOSES FAITH- especially when times are tough and so uncertain. Real love stays the course, through the tumultuous ups and downs of life.
Real love is ALWAYS HOPEFUL, because without hope we are lost. We must believe that love will help us, carry us through and be willing to accept the changes or lack of them that follows.
Real love ENDURES THROUGH EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE. It doesn't take the easy way out. It keeps fighting for your relationship.
In marriage, real love takes so many forms:
Its the husband who doesn't complain when the wife clogs the toilet.
It is taking turns getting up in the middle of the night when your kids are sick or are scared.
It often means sacrificing "your time" to be a partner in housekeeping chores.
It means supporting each other thru the roughest, toughest challenges you face.
It means holding the other up when a loved one dies; helping each other cope thru the loss.
It is often sitting at the bedside of a spouse whose body is wracked with cancer.
It is not complaining about such petty things.
It means trying your best to stay within your means, when you really want to buy something.
It might mean countless trips to the doctor to find out what is wrong.
It allows one another the freedom to grow, to try new things and be supportive in the process.
It has the freedom to say "go spend sometime doing whatever you want, I will care for the kids".
It is being comforting when one of you has lost their job. Letting them know that "you always have their back".
Real love is wanting THE VERY BEST FOR THE ONE YOU LOVE even if means you have to sacrifice something for them to get the very best of you.
It is not the flowers, cards, candy or the date night. Those are the expressions. Real love is one that keeps giving, keeps hoping, keeps believing and keeps being sacrificial. Real loves says "I am sorry" over and over again and real love forgives-even in the midst of deep hurt. Real love works and works to keep the love alive, year after year-sometimes in the midst of boredom, sometimes in the midst of pain and often in the midst of joy.
I pray we all know this love in our lifetimes.